Anyway, one subject has been coming back to the news recently, and it keeps annoying me. Over the last few months the Palestinian camps have been much tormented. In fact ever since the civil war the Palestinian question has been handled the same, chaotic, way:
We can't disarm them so we'll just lock them up in there camps and as long as they stay there we'll leave them in peace
Which is not a real solution to anything; these measures break every rule in the book! We know it, they know it, everybody knows it. However, the Palestinians don't exactly keep there part of the bargain, ever since the 90s the Palestinian camps became the ultimate refuge of outlaws, you can do whatever you like in Lebanon as long as you have connections inside the camps, and there fore you can hide in the camps.
Take Sultan abou El-Ainain for example, he received two death penalty from the Lebanese Judiciary system years ago, and still he had the nerves to lead a Palestinian political party from inside the camps and to make press conferences and make demands in the name of Palestinians.
Another shameful example was the death of four Judges in Saida in 2000. There were a trial inside the courtroom and a couple of armed Palestinians simply started shooting everywhere INSIDE THE COURT ROOM, killing the four Judges. Then they rode there motorcycle and fled to the nearest camp. No action was ever done against them or at least nothing official as far as we are informed.
But it would be misleading to think that the Lebanese army is this impotent, in fact after every incident the Lebanese army simply closes the few entrances to the camp implicated. Sometimes the same measures are applied to all camps at the same time, and sometimes these measures include cutting of the electricity or the water. And when that happens the Palestinians inside find themselves isolated, they have absolutely no means of independent survival, so they are quickly forced to comply with the demands of the Lebanese army.
This sort of siege was used to its extremes after the four judges incident. The siege was severe enough that it caused unrest inside the camps and inner conflicts that finally resulted in a mysterious stop of the siege after some mysterious negotiations with the Lebanese authorities. Which might mean that the army was finally handed the authors of the assassination. However, none of that is certain and when security is so severely violated the punishment must match the crime and the families of the victims deserve to see the assassins brought to trial and judged publicly.
In addition to that, Palestinians have a few military bases outside there camps. Needless to say that this is the ultimate insult to our army (that's even worse than the Hezbollah Dilemma), but these military bases were the result of the Syrian pressures, which explains why they are mainly positioned in the Bekaa close to the Syrian border, it also explains why these militias receive there weapons directly from Syria (remember the calls a couple months ago against the smuggling of weapons to Palestinians that were colliding with the Lebanese army in the Bekaa?).
I am not defending, or justifying the neglect of the political cast or anything, but to be perfectly honest, and since the Syrian withdrawal, there were serious efforts to reduce the Palestinian trespasses against the Lebanese sovereignty. That's when talks about the Palestinian Disarmament and the Palestinian weapons outside the camps.
Lately many people were demanding the Lebanese authorities to negotiate with "Palestinians" about them handing over there weapons instead of demanding a UN intervention. But seriously people! Does the Palestinians look like they are willing to hand over there weapon? The Palestinian weapon is way too powerful for them to give it away. It's most importantly a moral victory to them.
When, in the mid 60s, the Lebanese Presidents begged the UN to interfere and stop the weapon smuggling performed by the Egyptian-Syrian authorities, the UN simply didn't want to do anything; The Palestinian first victory.
When, in the midst of the Lebanese civil war, Arafat occupied Tripoli or Jounieh and made fun of everybody. He was asked about the purpose of these attacks against these cities which are obviously very distant from the Israeli border, he didn't even care, in fact he once said on TV (with a very annoying smile if you ask me) "The road to Jerusalem passes through Jounieh". Another Palestinian victory.
And when the war ended, and the Maronites/Christians lost it, the general amnesty law refused to accord Aoun and Amine Gemayel the right to come home and the same Law was Detoured to put Geagea in Jail. And the Ta'ef agreement was very clear about Disarming all militia and only admitting only the national army to own weapons. However there were a few minor exceptions:
- The Syrians remained heavily armed.
- The Palestinians remained heavily armed.
- Hezbollah remained heavily armed.
In other terms the only ones who were forced to deliver there weapons were the Christians Militia. This is why the Syrians found it so hard to leave Lebanon, and the same is actually taking place with Hezbollah and the Palestinian army. There military existence was the sign of there supremacy against the there traditional enemies and the losing part of the war, the absence of the weapon is, in there minds, the Christian come back, even though the Sunna in Lebanon were the most ferocious to demand the Syrian withdrawal.
In fact this undeclared motive to defend the Palestinian is simply undeclarable that's why Palestinians try to find other reasons to refuse the Lebanese demands. Mainly they demand to get there rights. They argue that there weapon is there only guarantee against the Israeli threat, reminding everybody the civil war events where they were massacred by Israeli allies (there fore sticking a finger in the face of maronites about the Sabra & Shateela crime and the Basir Gemayel's famous Christian interests first policy and slogan) .
They also argue that the Palestinians live in horrible poverty, that there infra structure is deplorable and so on, that they can't work because they have no work permit or anything, that they have no schools, that they have no security anyway, that they Lebanese army won't protect them, that the surface of the camps are not enough for the growing population, but something's not right in there logic.
- They are not forbidden to improve there situation, as a simple proof, many palestinians left the camps after working hard enough to by properties outside the camps, after all they are banned from owning land and if they were then these rules are no longer applied
- They are not banned from working outside the camps, as they claim, not only they were officially given that right a while back with a special permission for them to work on Lebanese land as a substitute for a nationality or a work permit. And in fact, even before this law was issued they were able to work, in Lebanon many laws are not respected and work laws suffer the most, Syrian workers simply cross the border with there yellow cabs and start working, no permit to come in Lebanon, no work permit, nothing at ALL. The same was applied for the Palestinians.
- There infra structure is deplorable, but that's normal when you remember that they live in a land that no Lebanese individual can enter, how can the Lebanese authorities improve the infra structure when it can't even enter?
- Electricity and water is inadequate to the camps' needs, but on the other hand electricity and water are free for there camps, the Lebanese government can't enter to collect its bills, so it simply allows them to take them for free (they could have just cut it off and be done with it).
- The Palestinian demographic explosion is anarchic and its beyond Lebanon's ability to sustain! In fact I think that our Palestinian friends often forget that they are not Lebanese citizens and that, unlike some countries (such as Jordany), we are neither willing nor able to give them citizenship; but at the same time they are treated very respectfully if compared to the situation in Syria for example. They are also forgetting that Lebanon is simply a temporary host for Palestinians, the way they are supposed to go back to there home or anywhere else, is not really our concern. I believe Lebanon fulfilled his part of the Arabic duty in all the Arab wars and everything (I don't believe any other country with our means has given as much as we did across the region) and Lebanon was more that bitterly rewarded, I hope the Palestinians haven't forgotten there honorific role in our civil war, and I hope that they are not forgetting that we had, until yesterday, a big portion occupied by the Israelis and that the rest of Lebanon was occupied by Syrians because of the first occupation... NO THANK YOU... We don't owe Palestinians anything. They are guests and they only have the rights that they already have, if they believe that the space we are giving them is not enough, well they should just reconsider there reproductive policy, nothing shameful about it, China did it!
I just wish politicians would grow some balls and tell the Palestinians what they simply should hear. But who am I kidding!